Europe and the UK

News items from Europe and the UK

Auto theft in the age of cybersecurity

In the days of “American Graffiti,” thieves could steal a car by using a Slim Jim to open the door, then touching the ignition wires together. With the move to electronic key fobs and computers, theft dropped dramatically. But the thieves have caught up – and with keyless ignitions it’s a simple matter for a tech-savvy thief to block the door lock signal or hack a vehicle's key fob. This new technology is dangerous…

Number of motor vehicle theft offences recorded in England and Wales from 2002/03 to 2018/19 (in 1,000s)

There were over 114 thousand motor vehicle thefts in England and Wales in 2018/19 and increase of over 8 thousand offences when compared with the previous year and an nine year high for this type of crime. Despite the recent increases, there were still fewer vehicle thefts than there were in 2002/03 when there were almost 307 thousand. This was followed by a steep ten-year decline which saw vehicle thefts reduced to just 70 thousand in…

Operation Benelli Is Now Stopping Northern UK Bike Thieves

Op Benelli isn't a band, but they're still making thieves dance to their tune. By now, you’ve probably heard that motorcycle theft is a major problem for our friends across the pond, all over the UK. One thing that has frustrated riders up and down the land is that police response hasn’t been as proactive as they would like. Opinions as to why are many, but facts are few. Now, one police force is stepping up to do something…

How Much Does Your Car Know About You? [Infographic]

Today’s vehicles can do just about anything — aside from driving themselves (yet). They can parallel park, monitor your blind spots, make phone calls, send text messages, and even give you massages. All of this additional automation means your car collects data on pretty much everything. Cars soak up information on who you are, where you’ve been, your driving habits, and much more. Automakers claim to use this data for…

What Map Apps Track (and How to Get Them to Stop)

Consulting a handheld map or pulling into the gas station to ask for directions seem like road trip activities of the distant past, and most of us are grateful for the advances in technology that allow us to drive to a new location without worry. Top-rated map apps offer features such as live traffic updates and route creators — even accommodating multiple stops — and can help you plan the ultimate road trip with little stress. With…

Lille, FRANCE: dismantling of a car theft network by electronic piracy

Fifteen people were indicted. They are suspected of stealing at least 65 vehicles "by using electronic hacking of lock and immobilizer devices". Fifteen people were indicted in Lille, suspected of stealing at least 65 cars by hacking their electronic system before selling them in the south of France and the Swiss border, said Saturday the gendarmerie. The suspects, mostly domiciled in the Lille metropolis, allegedly stole very recent Peugeot…

Revealed: The new cars that are susceptible to keyless theft

Some new cars on the market are vulnerable to keyless thefts, tests have revealed.  Latest security ratings for seven models you can buy in showrooms today have been released by Thatcham Research, an independent automotive research centre.  Of the seven vehicles reviewed, four were found to offer 'poor' resistance to relay crimes that have spiraled in the last few years. Thatcham launched the security rating earlier this…

Fears over motorcycle thieves terrorising bikers across Newcastle and Gateshead

Brazen, bold and reckless, organised teams of young motorbike thieves are putting lives at risk as they target Tyneside bikers. A top detective has today revealed his fears that someone will be seriously injured or killed if the teen motorcycle menaces operating round Newcastle and Gateshead are not stopped. Northumbria Police has launched a specialist squad of officers to tackle the teams of thieves thought to be behind the theft of almost…

More than half of Scotland’s car thefts are unsolved

More than half of vehicle thefts in Scotland are unsolved, new figures have revealed. Police said the vehicles were often stolen to order by criminal gangs using technology to bypass entry systems on keyless cars. In the past three years, figures from Police Scotland showed a detection rate of just 24% for all vehicle crime. The data also revealed large variations in the number of car crimes solved depending on where they happened. According…

Motorcycle theft is an epidemic, but one brand stands out among the rest

By Dr Ken German (Past IAATI UK Branch President).  Riding my Harley Davidson along the N340 through the Southern Andalusian mountains, the golden eagles floating above, was absolutely magic. But my ride came to a halt when a Spanish Guardia Civil police officer marched out in front of me and waved me to the back of a queue of other riders, all destined for an all-too-frequent road check. Spain has a motorcycle theft problem…